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Schwinn IC3 Indoor Cycling Bike

UnitSizeSupported
weight
Flywheel
weight
ResistanceConsole
Schwinn IC3

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L:48.7"
W:21.2"
H:49.8"
300 lbs40 lbsFriction,
felt-pad
Time,
Distance,
Speed,
RPM,
Avg. RPM,
Calories,
Pulse,
Goals

The IC3 is one of the newest exercise bikes from Schwinn, released in the second part of 2017. It’s considerably more solid model than the older Schwinn IC2, has a greater weight capacity and a heavier flywheel. Although it’s not a bike made for gym use, it’s definitely above the average sturdiness, quality, and range of features of most indoor cycling trainers for home use. Also, this Schwinn bike comes with a decent fitness meter, an accessory that many commercial-grade bikes don’t include.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 48.7L x 21.2W x 49.8H (124L x 54W x 127H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 101 lbs (46 kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 40 lbs (18.1 kg)
  • Supported weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Handlebars: 4-way adjustable
  • Seat: 4-way adjustable
  • Drive mechanism: Belt
  • Resistance: Friction, felt-pad
  • Fitness meter: Time, speed, distance, calories, pulse, SCAN
  • Extras: Bottle holder, tablet holder
  • Warranty: Frame 10 years, Electronics 2 years, Parts 2 years, Labor 1 year

Frame construction

The Schwinn IC3 features an all-steel frame construction designed to support all kinds of spin workouts. The joints between the frame bars are precision-welded creating an impressive overall sturdiness. The only non-metallic parts in the bike’s construction are the belt guard and several other small covers. Most of the frame steel bars are ovalized, a feature which not only bolsters the unit’s overall toughness, it also improves its aesthetics.

There’s a small horizontal bar welded between the seat upright tube and the frame oblique tube which can serve as a step-up bar. This feature not only can help entry and exit, it’s also required by certain spin workouts.

All the steel parts in the bike’s construction are double coated with a durable paint finish, resistant to corrosion, chipping and scratching. The color used is black.

The Schwinn IC3 isn’t an extremely large trainer. It’s approx. 49″ (124 cm) long and 21″ (54 cm) wide when fully assembled. Also, the highest point of the handlebar can reach approx. 50″ (127 cm). These being said, the bike can fit well even in a small room or apartment. However, it is recommended to keep at least two feet of space all around it, for safe entry, exit, and operation.

Compared to the average road bike or mountain bike, this Schwinn bike is considerably heavier. With the frame fully assembled, it weighs approx. 101 lbs (46 kg). All this weight improves its stability. However, its stability is also enhanced by the adjustable levelers on both its base bars. These allow you to perfectly stabilize the unit on any type of floor.

The front base bar is equipped with a set of wheels. Thus, relocating the trainer once you have finished with your workout shouldn’t be a problem.

Seat and handlebars

The seat supplied with this Schwinn exercise bike is similar to most indoor cycling bike saddles. Although it does integrate cushioning elements especially at the rear and has a longitudinal groove for a superior airflow, it’s not a seat made for comfort. Therefore, if you’re new to spinning, you may find it rather uncomfortable for the first several workout sessions. However, its attachment system to the slider is a standard one, so more comfortable compatible replacements for this seat are widely available. Also, you can improve its comfort via a gel seat cover.

The bike’s seat is 4-way adjustable. Its vertical bar offers 7 adjustment positions. The seat is attached to a horizontal slider which also offers several inches of adjustment. These being said, the bike can accommodate users between 5’0″ and 6’5″ (153 – 196 cm) without any problem, delivering a complete leg extension.

The handlebar features a multi-grip design. It’s fully padded in order to provide superior comfort and a secure grip. It integrates a small loop aero bar in the middle to which the console and the bottle holder are attached; this bar provides an additional, close parallel grip. Just like the seat, the handlebar is 4-way adjustable, up, down, forward, and backward.

Drive and resistance

As opposed to the older Schwinn IC2, the IC3 model is equipped with a heavier flywheel. It has a 40 lbs (18.1 kg) inertia-enhanced flywheel, which delivers a consistent momentum and a smooth, steady pedaling motion. It’s also bi-directional, giving you the possibility to pedal in reverse if you want to put diversity into your workout.

The bike’s transmission is powered by a poly-v, highly-durable and resistant to stretching, rubber belt. Like any other belt drive system, it comes with several advantages. One, it generates less vibration than a chain, two, it doesn’t require periodic lubrication, and three, the pedaling motion is almost silent.

Another important element of the drive system is the crankset. The Schwinn IC3 integrates a heavy-duty, 3-piece crankset with solid steel arms. It’s designed to support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg), and all the spin workouts. Differently put, if you don’t exceed this weight, you should be able to pedal while standing up on the pedals without any problem.

The pedals are also highly durable, made of metallic alloy. They’re equipped with toe cages on one side, and SPD clips for spin shoes on the other. They also have standard 9/16 threads, so in case you will ever need to replace them, compatible options are widely available.

Like many other spin bikes, the Schwinn IC3 model is equipped with a friction resistance system which consists of a felt brake pad attached to the main frame bar and connected to the turn knob on top of it. The pad comes in contact with the flywheel in a top-down manner; as you tighten the resistance dial, it delivers more friction increasing the drag, and the overall pedal resistance.

The bike’s resistance system is exclusively manual. It doesn’t require a power source, and the unit’s console does not have any control over the bike’s brake.

The tension knob doesn’t have any levels marked on it. You simply turn right or left until you obtain the pedal tension adequate to your training. The knob also fulfills the function of an emergency brake. It integrates a steel spring and gives you the possibility to press it down if you want to instantly stop the flywheel.

Exercise meter

An exercise meter is quite a plus for an indoor cycling bike. There are commercial models, such as the BodyCraft SPT-Mag bike, or the ASUNA Sabre 7100 that don’t include this accessory. The Schwinn IC3 includes fitness meter that offers quite a bit more than the average basic unit. To begin with, it has a 6-panel LCD display which shows Average RPM, time, distance, speed, RPM, calories, and pulse.

For distance, there are both imperial and metric units. For pulse reading, the bike doesn’t have integrated sensors, but the console is equipped with an internal sensor which can read the pulse transmitted by a heart rate chest strap that operates in the 4.5kHz – 5.5kHz frequency interval.

There are goal settings available for time, distance, and calories. You can select a target for each one of these metrics so that the meter will count down from it to zero. This feature offers the possibility to keep a better track of your progress.

The console unit is pretty easy to use. It has four buttons, these being Mode, Reset, Up, Down. The Mode button toggles ON/OFF the unit’s SCAN function. When the SCAN function is on, the Speed and RPM values are rotated on the middle right panel. The Mode button also covers the selection function for the unit’s metrics. The Up/Down arrow buttons allow you to increase/decrease a value when setting up a workout goal. And finally, the reset button clears the time, distance and calories values to zero.

The meter has a sleep mode to which will enter after 4 minutes of inactivity on the bike. It doesn’t have any power button, so it starts up when you push any of the buttons, or when it detects flywheel movement. It’s battery-powered and requires 2 AA batteries.

Assembly and Maintenance

The Schwinn IC3 comes partially assembled. The flywheel, belt, crank, and resistance elements are already attached to the frame. The parts that require assembly are the bike’s bases, the seat with its post, the handlebar with its post, the pedals and the meter unit. This shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. All the tools needed for the assembly are included. Also, the manual provides very clear, step-by-step assembly instructions.

Since the bike has a belt drive system, its transmission doesn’t require any lubrication. The brake pad may need a bit of silicone lubricant if it squeaks when in contact with the flywheel. Other than this, it’s recommended to keep the bike clean and periodically check for loose parts.

The Pros

  • Sturdy steel frame – can support users up to 300 lbs;
  • Bases with adjustable, rubberized levelers;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • 4-way adjustable handlebar, with a multi-grip design;
  • 4-way adjustable seat;
  • Friction resistance system;
  • Inertia-enhanced, 40 lbs flywheel for a smooth pedaling motion and solid momentum;
  • Heavy-duty crank made for spin workouts; 
  • Dual-sided pedals, with toe cages and SPD clips;
  • Smooth and quiet belt drive, great for apartment use;
  • Multi-panel LCD fitness meter included;
  • Goal setting functions for time, distance, and calories;
  • Bottle holder included;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • Really easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • The meter doesn’t have LED backlight;
  • HR chest strap not included.

Summary

The Schwinn IC3 is an indoor cycling bike built for all spin workouts. It features a standard friction brake, belt drive, and a telemetric exercise meter that can track time, distance, speed, RPM, Average RPM, calories, and pulse. It offers superior micro-adjustability as both its seat and handlebars are 4-way adjustable. It’s an excellent cycle for interval training, strength and stamina development, muscle toning and weight loss. Finally, it’s quite an affordable trainer for the quality and versatility that it offers; it’s actually one of the best indoor cycling bikes that you can find at the moment under $500.

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